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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, July 31) - Speaker Jeffrey Nape was forced to adjourn Parliament last Friday after a very poor turnout of MPs to make the required quorum.

The bells started ringing at 10 o’clock and when the Speaker came into the chambers, there was nobody there.

He adjourned the session until the ringing of the bells but when he came in again at 11 o’clock, there was only a handful of MPs, mostly from the Opposition and Government middle benches.

There was hardly any ministers and the whole Government bench was empty forcing Nape to use the Standing Orders to adjourn Parliament to 10 o’clock tomorrow morning.

Milne Bay Governor Tim Neville, after the adjournment, shouted across the chamber calling on the Government to provide the numbers.

A number of MPs yelled abuse at the Government questioning why Parliament was recalled when the Government did not have the numbers or any business for the week.

Opposition leader Peter O’Neill issued a statement expressing his "disgust at the continuing poor attendance of the parliamentary sessions by MPs."

O’Neill blamed the Government for the failure to muster a quorum for Parliament to sit.

Parliament was adjourned last Wednesday afternoon for lack of quorum, and again last Thursday after Question Time.

The Government will hand down a supplementary budget when Parliament resumes tomorrow.

August 1, 2006

The National:

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